MA Leadership in Sport

The MA Leadership in Sport is delivered online and through flexible residential blocks on-campus – usually, one face to face study block per year with further learning taking place online to offer greater flexibility to work around students’ professional life. The programme is ideal for those working full-time in industry and focuses on leadership development to aid current and future leaders in the profession.

The nature of the sports industry is rapidly changing and there is a far greater need than ever before for coordinators, development officers and managers in the sport, community, and physical activity spheres to have the core business and management skills which will help them to develop as future leaders within the sector.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 2 Years January Glyntaff A
Part-time 3 Years January Glyntaff A
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 2 Years January Glyntaff A
Part-time 3 Years January Glyntaff A

The MA Leadership in Sport has been designed in close consultation with a range of industry partners to ensure that students see that they are getting value for money studying important modules necessary for their professional development.

These modules include:

  • Research Project
  • Leading People in Sport
  • Sport Business Principles
  • Professional Work-Based Development
  • The High Performance Environment (Optional)
  • Effective Coaching (Optional)
  • Enterprise and Innovation in Sport (optional)
  • Strategic Leadership in Sport (optional)
  • Curriculum Design and Contemporary Approaches to Player Development (optional)
  • Pedagogy in Football (optional)

There will be opportunities to gain insight into different sports organisations and different industries, to learn from a range of approaches. Professional work-based development is a module which provides the opportunity for a student to undertake a placement with an organisation (either organised via the student or placement can be arranged by sport academic staff). The course also offers a unique opportunity to complete a paid work-based learning program in the US in partnership with UK International Soccer and the potential to complete the FAW B Licence alongside your studies.

* In order to study this programme and be based in the US, students will have to undertake the 140 placement hours for the Professional Work Based Development module with UK International Soccer (UKIS) and as such become an employee.



There is a unique approach to course delivery via flexible delivery and inclusion of blended learning. The course will offer modules that will be delivered via residential block delivery and online content, to make the course more accessible to those who are working full-time in the industry. Residential block delivery style will adopt a more ‘workshop’ network approach to encourage learning from others across the group. 

The MA Leadership in Sport course is delivered via a range of different methods. These include: face-to-face lectures; tutorials; group discussions; networking; guest lectures; work-based learning; some modules delivered at USW and at various locations across South Wales; online study (via Blackboard, discussion groups, social media).

It is very much focused on gaining the students' views and experiences to guide the group’s learning. All content will be applied in a management or sport context to aid learning, and provide practical ideas and solutions that students can take back to the workplace or apply in the industry.

The student will be expected to attend residential blocked lectures and also watch/complete all online learning materials associated to each selected module. There will normally be about 25 hours of contact time per module. Additional hours of study expected will depend on the student and their level of understanding of the subject material.

Find out about the great research happening in sport, health and exercise science.


Students are required to evidence knowledge and understanding through a diverse range of assessment across the course, including written reports; strategies and plans; case studies; academic critiques; evidence-based analyses; portfolios; group presentations; poster presentations; practical assessments. A research dissertation or professional applied project on a student-chosen topic relevant to the overall parameters of the course.

There are no exams on the MA Leadership in Sport course. All assessments are authentic to the sports industry so students will be completing work which is either related to their actual role and replicates the type of work that they would be expected to complete working in the sports sector at a management level.


The MA Leadership in Sport offers excellent links with industry professionals. For students who are not currently working in the industry but studying this degree, the course will give them an excellent opportunity to work with a range of partners. We have links with nearly 50 organisations in sport – many of whom support students with placements, research projects and mentoring. For those who are already working in the industry, it is hoped that the course will offer additional networking opportunities and sharing of ideas via informal discussions, which can provide huge added benefits on top of their formal learning.

Work-based learning is embedded throughout the course with particular emphasis on the Professional Work Based Development module, where students will work with an employer for 140 hours. For students who are already working in the industry, this could either be with their existing employer or an alternative employer. For students who are not currently working, placements will be arranged to enable them to gain experience in their chosen role.


We have a brand-new specially designed sporting performance facility that focuses on rugby and football coaching. It includes a specialist centre for strength and conditioning with 12 lifting platforms, providing a high performance environment for aspiring athletes. Our full-size indoor 3G pitch is built to the Fifa Pro standard and World Rugby 22 standard. It will guarantee training all year round for our rugby, football and coaching students. We are the only university in England and Wales to offer this facility.

You'll also find a notational analysis suite and over 30 acres of playing fields, including five floodlit pitches. We have a sand-dressed 'astroturf' pitch, as well as a full-size FIFA approved 3G pitch. In addition to these all-weather pitches, there are six grass football pitches, three grass rugby pitches, and a large changing pavilion. Our facilities are regularly used by international professional teams, such as the Wales national football team and Cardiff City Football Club, as well as the touring New Zealand, South Africa and Australia rugby squads. This confirms the high quality of our pitches and the versatility of our equipment.


We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

This course is delivered predominantly online and not available to International Students wishing to reside in the UK on a student VISA.

Entrance to the course normally requires an Honours degree classification of at least a 2:2 in a relevant subject, although related work experience e.g. 3 years working in sports development, leisure management or coaching, can also be taken into account. An interview may be required.

The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2023 - July 2024 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £9500 per 20 credits

  • Full-time International:  £15100 

  • Part-time UK:  £1055 per 20 credits

August 2024 - July 2025 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £10250

  • Full-time International:  £16000 

  • Part-time UK:  £1140 per 20 credits

Student Perks

At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.

Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Other: Travel to Residential (Compulsory) *
Students will have to fund the cost of travel to the residential elements of the course.


Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).

To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.

Apply directly to the University for the MA Leadership in Sport course.

Admissions statement 

The need for relevant further education for sports professionals continues to increase given the highly competitive nature of the sport industry with hundreds applying for a handful of jobs. Current professionals and new applicants are therefore keen to gain a competitive edge over others for promotion, with postgraduate qualifications providing one such advantage

The MA Leadership in Sport aims and learning outcomes are focused upon students acquiring the knowledge and employability skills to gain employment within the sports sector with the aim of progressing into management roles USW Sport has a strong track record of creating employable graduates within the sports industry and beyond. This emphasis on student employability remains the core focus for the Sport academic subject area.

Graduates can also progress to a PhD or research degree.